A tradition-rich NFL franchise is joining the alternate helmet craze.
The Detroit Lions revealed their new alternate helmet on Wednesday, a blue-shelled piece of protective equipment featuring the club's classic logo used during the 1960s.
The helmet is the Lions' first alternate shell painted in a color other than silver since they donned a blue helmet for a short time in the 1950s (Detroit's previous "alternate" helmet was merely a stripped-down shell, with graphics and striping removed for use with throwback uniforms, typically on Thanksgiving). The Honolulu blue helmet displays the team's 1960s logo, a lion prowling across two vertical stripes (one blue, one silver) on the sides of the helmet, with a silver facemask attached to the shell. Detroit used this logo as its primary mark in the 1960s, but never wore the emblem on the team's helmets until now.
Detroit teased the alternate helmet with a photoshoot centered around a 1973 Ford Mustang Shelby Mach 1, which belonged to the late Van Patrick, a former Lions radio commentator from the 1950s until his passing in 1974. The classic logo was inspired by the Ford Mustang badge, which can be seen on the car.
Detroit has used elements of this logo plenty in recent years, including in a WCF emblem adorning the sleeve of their jerseys, which honors the late Lions owner William Clay Ford. The vertical stripes also appear in the team's 90th anniversary patch, which include a smaller version of the prowling lion, and will be seen on Detroit's uniforms this season.